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Wellness Research

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Counseling Psychology

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Wellness Research

Welcome to the Wellness Research Team homepage! The Wellness Team aspires to foster human well-being by enhancing understanding of resilience, stress-coping, and happiness. The team has in recent years:

  • Ascertained the role of meaning, positive affect, positive and negative thoughts, and self-efficacy in shaping life satisfaction and psychological well-being
  • Tested how meaning in life leads to happiness
  • Found a new and potentially better way to measure generalized self-efficacy
  • Discovered factors that aid psychological growth after trauma
  • Shown how purpose in life and reasons for living help reduce risk of suicide
  • Determined forms of coping that reduce pain-related distress
  • Found mechanisms—such as beliefs and types of thinking—through which personality may affect well-being, as well as potential ways to reduce the harmful effects of personality traits such as neuroticism.
  • Discovered malleable cognitive factors that predict declines in neuroticism and trait negative affect, even over short time periods.
  • Explored cross-cultural differences in meaning in life.

The team, which meets every week, has collected data on a half-dozen additional projects and is now crafting studies to help assess or develop people’s self-efficacy, meaning in life, self-esteem, and happiness. Please join us for an exciting endeavor that aims to engage, intrigue, and expand awareness as it aids human welfare. Drop us a line anytime for more information at or (901) 678-4169. Happiness to you!

Below is a link to a TV appearance on PBS station WKNO in which Dr. Lightsey discussed recent findings about happiness and aging.

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Last Updated: 6/11/14